The EPA allows safer products to carry the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. This mark allows consumers to quickly identify and choose products that can help protect the environment and are safer for families.
When you see the DfE logo on a product it means:
The DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects
The product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment.
Product manufacturers who become DfE partners and earn the right to display the DfE logo on recognized products have invested heavily in research, development, and reformulation to ensure that their ingredients and finished product line up on the green end of the health and environmental spectrum, while maintaining or improving product performance.
How does DfE makes sure that products bearing the label are really safer?
- DfE carefully looks at each product ingredient -- no exceptions.
DfE starts with information that scientists already know about each ingredient, such as how it works in a detergent and how it affects living things. Where that information doesn't tell the full story, DfE looks at an ingredient's chemical structure - its components and shape - to understand how it could impact the environment and people. A chemical's structure can tell a lot about how the chemical will behave and what types of effects it may have when it comes in contact with people or the environment. DfE uses EPA scientists who have studied chemicals for 30 years or even longer.
- DfE only allows the best products in their class to use of the logo. DfE compares a chemical’s characteristics to other chemicals in the same class; that is, solvents are compared to other solvents, and surfactants (wetting agents) are compared with other surfactants. Before DfE allows their logo on a product, DfE makes sure that only the safest ingredients from each class are used.
If you would like a little more (technical) information, please read on!
DfE is located in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). OPPT has regulated chemicals for more than 30 years and has unique expertise in understanding the impacts of chemicals on people and the environment.
- When you see the DfE logo on a product, expect the safest possible ingredients. The DfE logo means that the DfE review team has screened each ingredient in the product for potential human health and environmental effects. It also means that - based on hazard and risk information, the latest models and predictive tools, and expert scientific judgment - the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class. For example, if a DfE-recognized product contains a surfactant, then that surfactant will not be toxic to human health and it will biodegrade readily to non-polluting degradation products; many surfactants in conventional products biodegrade slowly or biodegrade to more toxic and persistent chemicals, which threaten aquatic life.
- DfE formulator review is especially discriminating and protective.
The DfE Program is unique because of two defining characteristics: its assessment methodology and its technical review team. The DfE technical review team has many years of experience and is highly skilled at assessing chemical hazards, applying predictive tools, and identifying safer substitutes for chemicals of concern. The review team applies the DfE assessment methodology by carefully reviewing every product ingredient (The review includes all chemicals, including those in proprietary raw material blends, which manufacturers share with DfE in confidentiality).
What People Say
“We enjoy an honored privilege for the opportunity extended our company by Joe Brantley of AEP River Operations to have L-44®ECD Degreaser evaluated as part of their corporate “Go Green” mission aboard the mv. Donna Rushing. We are uniquely indebted to AEP, and for the detailed efforts of Rob Korte and Jim Wilson for their testing reviews of L-44®ECD on multiple tugboats of the AEP fleet.”
Project Go Green